I've some closely related questions about the emergency locator transmitter, ELT, the "distress beacon", on the Airbus A320. From this question about antennas on the A320:

enter image description here

The ELT antenna seems to be located aft of the cabin.

However the ELT might need to be activated manually in case the acceleration sensor doesn't work. More importantly the ELT must be taken away if the crew/passengers decide to move away from the aircraft wreckage, e.g. after a ditching.

It could be interesting to know some details before being the only survivor of a A320 crash in the middle of the Amazon rainforest:

  • Were is the ELT located and how is it fixed?

  • How is it manually powered?

  • How is it connected to the fuselage antenna and to the overhead panel?

  • Is it possible to remove it from the aircraft and take it away?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "More importantly the ELT must be taken away if the crew/passengers decide to move away from the aircraft... " That isn't the purpose of an ELT, it isn't meant to be removed and carried with you, that is what a PLB is for. I don't know of any ELT that is designed that way. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Sep 17 '17 at 12:57
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ That is more like a PLB, the ELT built into the aircraft (that uses the external antennas/manual cockpit activation) isn't so easily removed without tools, tools you probably wouldn't have in a crash. From a survival perspective you really don't want to wander too far from the crash site if possible. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Sep 17 '17 at 13:13

It's a self-contained unit with its own battery, GPS transmitter and antenna, with a port that can be plugged into the antenna connector of the aircraft. Just disconnect, stick out the whip antenna, and swim downstream the Amazon :)

enter image description hereImage source

Here is Australia boats are required to bring a similar device on board called an EPIRB if going off-shore for more than a couple of miles, also a really good idea if driving from Darwin to Adelaide with a detour through the desert.


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